In another infinitesimal flash he had taken it in. Pale, dusky skin, covering nothing but bones and tendons of appalling strength; coarse black hairs, longer than ever grew on a human hand; nails rising from the ends of the fingers and curving sharply down and forward, grey horny and wrinkled. He flew out of his chair with deadly inconceivable terror at his heart.
The art of telling a ghost story is a refined one and Montague Rhodes James was a master of it. With gentle cunning, he draws the reader into a narrative that at first seems innocuous but which by gentle turns becomes darker and darker until he transfixes you with his prose, creating the most unforgettable, alarming and frightening images. This volume contains all his timeless masterpieces from the four collections of his eerie tales: Ghost Stories of an Antiquary (1904), More Ghost Stories of an Antiquary (1911), A Thin Ghost and Others (1919), A Warning to the Curious and Other Ghost Stories (1925)."
With an Afterword by David Stuart Davies.
Montague Rhodes James was born in 1862 at Goodnestone Parsonage, Kent, where his father was a curate, but the family moved soon afterwards to Great Livermere in Suffolk. James attended Eton College and later King's College Cambridge where he won many awards and scholarships. From 1894 to 1908 he was Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and from 1905 to 1918 was Provost of King's College. In 1913, he became Vice-Chancellor of the University for two years. In 1918 he was installed as Provost of Eton. A distinguished medievalist and scholar of international status, James published many works on biblical and historical antiquarian subjects. He was awarded the Order of Merit in 1930. His ghost story writing began almost as a divertissement from his academic work and as a form of entertainment for his colleagues. He never married and died in 1936.